What’s cooking: Delhi HC orders full ingredient list in non-vegetarian and vegetarian products

The court, when hearing an NGO petition, said food business operators should also mention whether the food is from a plant or animal source and whether it is made in a laboratory.

Representative photo: iStock

The Delhi High Court has ordered all food business operators to specify in detail all the ingredients that go into making a food.

Emphasizing that consumers have a right to know what they are eating, a division of Judges Vipin Sangi and Jasmeet Singh said food operators should also mention whether the food is from a plant or animal source, and whether it is made in the laboratory.

“It should be fairly disclosed what the plant source or the animal source is – as the case may be, with respect to all ingredients, regardless of the extent to which they are used,” the judiciary said.

Food business operators who fail to comply with the regulation would call for punitive action for violating basic consumer rights, the court said.


“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India should verify all claims made by food business operators, and the collusion or failure of FSSAI or its agents to perform their duties will expose all such agents to claims from the parties. injured, and prosecution under the law, ”the court ruled.

The court made the order during a hearing of a petition filed by Ram Gaua Raksha Dal, an NGO, which had urged authorities to implement existing rules on labeling of food products and cosmetics.

The petitioner had told the court that the members of the trust – all belonging to the Namdhari sect of Sikhism who practice strict vegetarianism – did not know which products available on the market are safe for consumption or use, as many ‘between them either have’ non-vegetarian ingredients or are undergoing such transformation that they cannot be described as strictly vegetarian.

The court said the failure of authorities to maintain quality resulted in both non-compliance with food safety and standards law and regulations, and also encouraged food business operators to take the public out, especially vegetarians, take a walk.

“It doesn’t matter what percentage of similar ingredients (from animals) are used in the manufacture of food items. Even though their use may be a tiny percentage, the use of non-vegetarian ingredients would render these food products non-vegetarian, and offend the religious and cultural sensitivities / feelings of strict vegetarians, and interfere with their right to freely profess, practice and propagate. their religion and belief, ”the court said.

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